More than 100 families of the nomadic Hakki Pikki community were evicted from the government land in Veerannana Benavalli village near here on Saturday.

It may be mentioned here that the State government in 2017 had reserved four acres of land belonging to Department of Revenue on the outskirts of Veerannana Benavalli village, that falls under Ayanur Gram Panchayat limits, to provide houses for Hakki Pikki families residing in makeshift tents on private land in Malligenahalli and Srirampura localities on the outskirts of Shivamogga city. It was planned to develop a residential layout there for these families through Rajiv Gandhi Housing Corporation.

Alleging deliberate delay by officials in the formation of the layout, the families had recently erected tents on the land reserved for them. As the land was involved in a legal dispute and the formalities related to selection of beneficiaries was not yet completed, the Assistant Commissioner of Shivamogga had ordered the eviction of the occupants of the land to maintain the status-quo there. Based on this, the eviction was executed by a team of officials of the department headed by G.H. Sathyanarayan, Shivamogga tahsildar, with the help of the police.

Meanwhile, Chavade Lokesh, a functionary of Karnataka Alemari, Are-Alemari Mattu Vimuktha Budakattugala Okkoota, a federation of nomadic and semi-nomadic communities, alleged that the eviction was executed in contravention of the existing rules. The families were not served prior notices, he said and demanded that the government take measures to resolve the legal problems related to the allotted land and provide houses for the nomadic families there at the earliest.

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